It's not at the top of my list, but it's no where near the bottom. It was obtained in a bundle deal and it pays for itself every time I use it. I probably wouldn't have bought one, and it would have been a shame. This thing is reliable and sounds great. USB is great but I always feel more confident with Firewire (not to mention you then have the ability to daisy chain). This audio interface would be a great addition to any studio, professional to bedroom.
-8 Pre-amped inputs
-2 Main outputs
-8 ADAT inputs/outputs
-Dedicated phantom power & -20dB pad for each pre-amp channel
-8 LED input meters
-XLR/TRS jacks on back
-Up to 96kHz & 24-bit
-Headphone jack on front for monitoring
-A single button/dial to control headphone monitoring and main outputs
-Single rack space
Great for tracking up to 8 channels at once! But don't worry, it's just as good when you are only tracking 1 channel too. And being a firewire device, you will have one less USB slot filled. I mainly use this with Pro Tools 10, but it works great with almost any other DAW. Some units don't have input meters on the front, and you don't have to use those units! The Motu 8 Pre has brilliant LED input meters (complete with green, yellow and red). With a quick response, the 8 Pre is a serious workhorse. Don't be afraid to run it hard, unlike cheap USB audio interfaces, this one won't crumble under the pressure.
The Motu 8 Pre features onboard SMPTE time code synchronization. Time code is generated by the 8 Pre and can be sent to analogue devices. Included is the MOTU SMPTE Console software. This allows the user to strip, regenerate or slave other devices to your computer.
Latency seems to be no issue for the Motu 8 Pre. CueMix DSP helps create different output and headphone mixes. You can also add send/return loops for your outboard gear with no noticeable latency.
This thing is NOT a burden in any way. It will only take up a single spot on your rack where comparable others can take up many. It's solid design not only feels great to the touch, but it makes me feel a lot more confident when moving it around.
If you aren't seriously considering the 8 Pre yet, lets look at a much under appreciated feature: dual XLR/TRS inputs. Cabling and be pricey, and there is nothing worse than buying a new piece of gear and realizing you don't have the right cabling for it. Similar units only have XLR inputs, this is not a bad thing but what if you are going straight into a TRS patch bay. Now you are going to have to order some TRS to XLR cables for the short trip to the patch bay, but not with the Motu 8 Pre.
I bought the unit second hand so I'm not sure what it comes with (they didn't even provide the power cable!! Savages). However Motu's website has all the documentation that came with the unit. Motu.com also has all necessary drivers and software that you will need to run the 8 Pre.
The 1 button output/headphone control can be a bit confusing at first (especially if you didn't get a manual). But all things considered, this unit is very easy to jump right into. You shouldn't have any compatibility issues with this unit.
I liked the sound of the pre amps the best. The gain stage is gentle but can provide a serious boost towards the end. This is one of those analogue to digital converters that sounds more like an all analogue piece. Motu really did a great job with this unit, it in no way sounds like a cheap piece of gear. This was bought in a package with a bunch of other gear so I can't comment on the value for price. The average new price seems to be floating around $500-600ish (depending on generation).
Knowing what I know now I would have bought the unit. I'll admit that I wouldn't have bought the unit in the first place if it didn't come in a package deal, but I'm sure glad I've got it.
-8 Pre-amp inputs with dedicated -20dB pad & phantom power
-1 rack space
-Really good sound that almost mimics analogue sound
-Only 2 outputs (really a drag and is what holds me back from giving a near perfect score)
-Headphone monitoring and main outputs are on the same button/dial
-LED's can be really bright in the dark
The MOTU 8Pre is a firewire based audio interface, consisting of eight microphone preamplifiers and inputs. I like this unit a lot because it doesn't overload you with too many features, but still has pretty much everything that you'd need. As far as connections go, the unit has the eight dual XLR and 1/4" inputs which are controlled by the gain knobs on the front. It also has a MIDI in and out and ADAT optical connections and 1/4" outputs for your monitors. The interface only takes up a single rack space in a traditional rack, so it is pretty easily transported if necessary.
The design of the MOTU 8Pre makes it very easy to use. Each of the eight channels has a gain knob, a -20db pad, and a phantom power switch. There is definitely nothing complicated about setting this up or using it - everything is just about as basic as possible, making it very user friendly. I also don't feel that this simple make up hinders its versatility, as it seems like they have made the perfect balance of features and user friendliness. Unless your a beginner I don't think that you'll need a manual...
The sound of the MOTU 8Pre is overall pretty clean and suitable for recordings of all types. While not the warmest or my favorite mic pres, they definitely will get the job done for most recording situations. Beyond the mic pres themselves, there really aren't any parameters to control your sounds, but it is nice to have the -20 db pad built in here. My only complaint about the way the pres sound is that they can come off a bit stale sometimes, meaning that if the sound isn't already there, you're not going to be able to beef it up with your pre here alone like you can do with some other mic pres and consoles out there...
If you're looking at getting a reasonably priced audio interface with a great design, the MOTU 8Pre should definitely be on your list of interfaces to investigate. I love the gear made by MOTU, as they offer up high quality interfaces with a great look and sound, and this is one of their best bang for your buck deals out there. The compact nature of the interface doesn't make take away from its features, which is probably my favorite thing about the interface beyond the cheap price. The 8Pre is overall a smartly designed interface with a lot of features for something in this price range.
I got this not long ago to supplement my other MOTU interface, the 828 mk3. This is great for that purpose, because MOTU lets you daisy chain the firewire ports on them. Essentially this is just going to give you another 8 preamps and so another 8 channels of audio inputs. I wanted to be able to record drums at home with a lot of mics, and adding this to my setup allowed that. I am running a PC with Nuendo, Dual Core processor, and 4GB of ram. I am using this thing mostly just for extra microphones when I'm recording something live. It has also got MIDI connections if you don't have another MIDI box.
This installed with no problems. I didn't even need to load drivers amazingly enough, I just plugged this firewire cable between my 8pre and my 828mk3, and bam - 8 more channels that also show up on the CueMix software MOTU provides. Doesn't get any simpler. I've since had no problems with compatibility or bugs or anything, all smooth sailing here. They do give you a good sized manual, so if you had questions about how to operate anything i'm sure they'd be answered, but there aren't that many controls on this thing.
The drivers have been great, since it's just been running off the MOTU driver I already had installed. They haven't been updated in months, but then again there has been no need to as far as I know. I am using this with Nuendo software as my host. Latency doesn't really come into the picture with this device, it's just putting the audio right through to the 828 which is putting it right through to the PC, so it's negligible. This box adds another 8 channels of audio to your existing converter/preamp box.
I got this about 10 months ago or so when I wanted to get back to having more than 8 tracks to record with at home. I really liked my 828 mk3, so this was great since it basically just expanded that box that I already had. The preamps and converters sound pretty good, and it works just as it says it will, so it's dependable to say the least. It would be nice to have a bigger metering section - that's a little small - but you can still easily tell when something's clipping so it's a small complaint. It's a great value for another 8 channels of audio. I'd get it again.